FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Portland City Council Approves Ordinances to Write Portland Clean Energy Fund into City Code
Grassroots Supporters Laud Early Implementation Efforts
(Portland, OR) - Portland City Council voted this afternoon to approve an ordinance to write the Portland Clean Energy Fund into City Code and authorize four new program staff positions to oversee and support the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund. They also approved a small handful of amendments proposed by the City Revenue Division. The pair of ordinances writes Measure 26-201, which was approved by 65% of Portland voters on November 6th, 2018, into City Code with a small handful of housekeeping amendments proposed by the City Revenue division that were supported by the coalition that led the Portland Clean Energy Fund campaign. The city invited testimony from community leaders and took comments from members of the public who expressed their support of a robust implementation faithful to the will of the over 200,000 voters who approved the measure.
"My heart breathes a sigh of hope at the collective hard work of our citizens. I am especially grateful for the foresight of Commissioner Hardesty for being one of the initial visionaries of and for inviting community partners to work together on Measure 26-201," said the Reverend E.D. Mondainé, President of the NAACP Portland Branch 1120 and a chief petitioner of Measure 26-201. "We look forward to workers with living wage jobs, well-insulated homes, and energy as renewable as our renewed sense of spirit. We look forward to continued collaboration and strong implementation of this historic measure."
"We would like to thank the Mayor and each commissioner for their engagement on this measure, as well as their incredible staff. We also thank the Revenue Division for their good work exemplified today. And we thank the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability for being an outstanding partner," said Jenny Lee, Advocacy Director of the Coalition of Communities of Color. "These amendments will help to improve the ordinance by aligning its language with the city code, making it easier for the Revenue Division to collect the clean energy surcharge efficiently and effectively."
"The actions we take to create quality jobs and to protect working people and the environment must go hand-in-hand, and that together, we will build clean, thriving and fair economy," said Ranfis Villatoro, Oregon State Policy Director of BlueGreen Alliance. "This initiative has the opportunity to do just that and be a beacon of hope for this City, State, and Country."
"We are discussing 300 to 500 jobs new jobs yearly," said Nate McCoy, Executive Director of the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC) of Oregon. "This fund has the opportunity to ensure that tenants and owners can benefit from rooftop solar on affordable housing. New living-wage jobs from this program can help ease the burden on those facing homelessness."
Leaders in the Portland Clean Energy Fund coalition identified next steps for the implementation of the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund, including but not limited to recruiting a diverse and representative grant committee to be appointed by City Commissioners, hiring program staff to be housed at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and building capacity among community organizations to prepare them to submit competitive proposals to the fund.